The ongoing divorce case between billionaire businessman Harold Hamm and his ex-wife Sue Ann Hamm has been a source of concern regarding the future of Continental Resources over the past two and a half years, but the speculation can soon be put to rest. Harold, who is both the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Resources, has been ordered to pay his wife $1 billion to close their divorce case. Oklahoma County Judge Howard Haralson delivered the judgment on Monday.
Although the divorce judgment leaves Harold’s position as majority stakeholder intact, Continental Resources has still been implicated. In order to guarantee that the large sum is paid to Sue Ann, Judge Haralson put a lien on 20 million of Harold’s shares of Continental Resources. Harold holds about 68% of the company’s shares, valued at around $14 billion.
As the controlling holder of Continental Resources, Harold’s divorce proceedings were expected to dramatically impact the company, as a judgment could require him to pay his wife a significant amount of his sizable assets, including a major portion of his Continental shares. The case has been closely monitored by stockholders and the media as speculation grew surrounding the potential ramifications his divorce could have on the company. At one point, it was expected that Harold would lose up to one quarter of his assets to his ex-wife, thereby jeopardizing his control of Continental Resources.
However, if Monday’s judgment withstands appeals and the case is brought to a close, Hamm will lose much less than anticipated; Sue Ann had originally sought $7 billion from her ex-husband. The current settlement has her receiving the couple’s $4.7 million home in Oklahoma City as well as their $17.5 million Carmel, CA ranch.
Best known for his involvement in the development of the Bakken oilfield, Hamm has an impressive estimated net worth of $14 billion and is ranked as one of the richest people in the world.